I’ve spent two class days now on Spanish-speaking countries and capitals. I wasn’t going to write about this – don’t judge me, #langchat! …but then I saw Allison’s post at Mis Clases Locas on the same topic, and decided I’d share my ideas as well. I share the same sentiments Allison wrote about – yes, culture and geography should be woven in throughout the year, but sometimes a little bit of direct instruction goes a long way. Like Allison, I also am giving a map quiz, but the long-term takeaways I hope they gain from these lessons are not being able to point out Peru on a map – rather, my goal is that when they hear the name of a country they know if the people there speak Spanish, and have a general idea of where Spanish-speaking countries are located in the world (no, Spain is not in Asia…no, it’s not in Africa either).
I started last Friday in the computer lab. I gave them this handout (dropbox link here) as they came in:I copied a map of Central America, South America, and the Carribbean on the back. They labeled the map, and then practiced locating the countries with links to Purpose Games, Sheppard Software, and I like to Learn. When they were ready, they came to me and I quizzed them orally (Sidenote: I’ve been experimenting with individual, oral quizzes for vocabulary comprehension and in this case, locating the countries. A few kids get too nervous to do them out loud, so I usually let them do a written version, but it’s relatively quick, allows me to differentiate – practice until you’re ready! – and also cuts out cheating, which is a major issue I have with memorization-based assessments). If they had time, they also looked up the capitals and played some games testing their memory.
Today (we had a long weekend for fall break) I took Allison’s advice and did a kahoot. My kids loved it! We did this one on country locations, watched the Rock the Capitals videos, and then did this Kahoot testing capitals. Over all it was a fun and productive day.
Web links for students to practice finding the countries:
- Purpose Games (this one is my favorite because it includes the Carribbean)
- Sheppard Software (but this one works without flash)
- I like to learn
Web links for students to learn the capitals:
- Central American & The Carribbean Multiple Choice:
- South American Countries to Capitals
- Matching countries & capitals
Rock the capitals – these songs will get the capitals stuck in your head! And hopefully your students’ heads too 🙂
Central America & the Carribbean